Sconnie Sports Talk

Wisconsin Basketball Tournament Résumé 3.0


After a blistering 67-59 victory last night on the road against the #8 Iowa Hawkeyes, the Wisconsin Badgers are now almost a sure-fire at-large bid for the NCAA-Tournament.

It’s hard to believe how far the Badgers have come since the first edition of our Wisconsin Basketball Tournament Résumé.  They have risen from a disappointing 1-4 Big 10 record to now posing a serious threat of winning the Big 10 regular season title, as the team is only two games back of the conference leading Indiana Hoosiers. This remarkable turnaround no longer raises the question of IF the Badgers will make it to the post-season. It now begs the question of WHERE the Badgers fit in the tournament?

To determine where the Badgers would end up if yesterday’s game against Iowa were the last game of the season, we need to analyze what the selection committee will be looking at.

Recent Play

The Badgers are arguably the hottest team in the country right now with nine wins in their last ten games, including road wins against Maryland and Iowa. Their only loss during this run came on the road against a fiery Michigan State team, who has won seven of their last eight games.

Marquee Victories: 9-6 against teams ranked in the RPI top 100

77-76 win at home against then #4 Michigan State (RPI 13) (, 1)

67-59 win on the road against #8 Iowa (RPI 15) (, 13)

82-79 win on at home against then #19 Indiana (RPI 29) (, 18)

70-57 win on the road against then #3 Maryland (RPI 10) (, 20)

66-58 win on the road against Syracuse (RPI 52) (, 43)

74-73 win on a neutral court against VCU (RPI 46) (, 42)

Bad Losses

67-69 loss at home against Western Illinois (RPI 254) (, 234 )

67-68 loss at home against UW-Milwaukee (RPI 157) (, 112)

65-70 loss on the road against Northwestern (RPI 104) (, 89)

55-57 loss at home against Marquette (RPI 104) (, 90)

Other Factors to Consider

Current Projection

Based on the key factors that the selection committee oversee, I would project the Badgers to be a lethal #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament as of now. Their win over #8 Iowa solidified them among the best in the Big 10, and speaks volumes to the work of interim head coach Greg Gard. Under Gard’s leadership, the Badgers have built team chemistry, adopting the mantra of “playing for each other”, and have gone a smooth 11-5 since Gard took over the head coaching duties three months ago. Gard’s extension of the bench has effectively transformed the Badgers from their beginning of the season habits into what they are today.

The Road Ahead

The Badgers look to continue their hot streak this Sunday for Senior Night (or Jordan Smith Night) with a win at home against Michigan. They will then face off against out-of-state rival Minnesota, and conclude their regular season looking for revenge against the #20 Purdue Boilermakers. The Badgers should be heavy favorites against Minnesota and need to win that game to ensure at least a semi-steady run into March Madness. Games against Michigan and Purdue are not guaranteed, but victories in the final three regular season games and a run in the Big 10 tournament could propel the Badgers all of the way up to a #4 seed.